Dips are undoubtedly one of the most effective exercises out there for you pectorals muscles (chest), for your triceps and your front deltoids muscles (shoulders). They are also a great basic strength exercise to master that can help you massively before you start tying more advanced exercises (like the muscle-up). While many people are struggling with dips, some people can perform weighted dips for many reps. Regardless of your current level in this exercise, you can always improve your reps count if you follow the right plan consistently. Keep reading to find out how to significantly boost your dips count.
What if I can’t even do one repetition?
Even if you cannot perform one repetition of dips, have no fear! The solution is to start with easier variations that will move you towards your first few repetitions and beyond! If you can not do dips, bench dips are an excellent progression you should try. Start with your feet on the floor and your hands on the bench behind you. Go down and push yourself back up with control. This movement puts a lot of emphasis on your triceps and shoulders. If you are not sure about your form, It always a good idea to ask a personal trainer to check you are doing it right. Perform three sets of 8 - 15 repetitions based on your level.
What if bench dips are too easy for me?
If bench dips are too easy for you, then lift your legs off the ground and place them on a higher surface (such as another bench). This subtle change will add extra resistance to the exercise and will make it more challenging for you! Stick with the same range of repetitions as mentioned above. If parallel bar dips are too challenging for you but feet elevated bench dips are too easy for you, keep reading. We got you covered.
Weighted Feet Elevated Bench Dips
Once feet elevated bench dips is too easy for you, start adding resistance to it on top. You will most likely have to ask a partner to add it for you! Keep progressing with this exercise until you will be strong enough to perform eight consecutive repetitions of parallel bar dips. You can also follow an alternative exercise if you prefer. Attaching a resistance band to the dips bars is an effective way to progress towards dips as well.
Parallel Bar Dips
This is the classic bodyweight variation of dips. Once you can do eight repetitions in a row, keep practicing the exercise until you can perform three sets of twelve flawless repetitions (or fifteen repetitions in a row). If you can do fifteen repetitions in a row, that means you have worked hard, and now you are ready to move to a more advanced progression.
Advanced Dips Progression
Ring dips and weighted parallel bar dips are advanced variations of dips you should try once you get to fifteen reps of parallel bar dips. Ring dips require more stability, so they are more challenging to perform, and weighted dips add more resistance to bodyweight dips. Make sure your form is correct when you are performing the new variations and also do not add too much weight to dips when your body is not ready to handle it. That is a recipe for injuries. Stick to anywhere from 5 -12 repetition per set. When it comes to dips, there are many different effective training options out there. You can do straight sets, pyramid training or reverse pyramid training. They are all effective for progression.
What should I do now?
Pick a progression from above based on your training level and keep progressing until you become better at it. When you are ready, increase the resistance by moving to a more difficult progression or increase the weight (if applicable). As always, be consistent with the progressions you do and the results will come!